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Review: Love Without Measure

December 28, 2010

Disclaimer: Integrity Music sends me free stuff so I’ll tell you what I think of it. Don’t tell them no one reads this blog.

Want some free music? Of course you do.

Parachute Band and Integrity Music is giving away nine free tracks at FreeParachuteMusic.com (in exchange for your email address, which is opposite the law of reciprocity, but whatever) to promote the release of their new album, Love Without Measure. You’ll find six tracks from previous releases, and three from Love Without Measure, but only until the 31st.

If you think you and Parachute go way back, you may be surprised. The original line-up has been exchanged, since 2006, for New Zealand’s ‘next gen’ Parachute Band. This is a different crew.

I love this statement from the PR:

“They (the front man and the drummer/producer) built a team of like-hearted musicians for one purpose: to translate God’s Word into sounds that could be understood on city streets.”

Did they do it?

They didn’t knock it out of the proverbial park, but they made some headway.

What these guys do well is dance music, and I wish they’d done more of it on this album. The first two tracks, “Gave It All” and “My Constant,” kick the thing off like an infectious dance party, but the next track – an attempt at something more reflective – throws cold water on the effort.

Then, “You Remain” and “It’s You,” stay calm and worshipful, but muddle some potentially powerful lyrics with uninspiring melodies. I was really ready for the chorus of “You Remain,” and the tag of “It’s You” to take me there, but they fell short. The lyrics are great, and great for congregational worship, but the music feels like it just needs a little more attention: a few chords re-thought and a lesson in dynamics.

“The Redeemed” is a quiet, worshipful song that doesn’t try to make the guys do something they don’t really do well. It’s simple and beautiful.

The rest of the album is a handful of the same. Moderate tempos, moderate volumes, moderate lyrics and melodies, potential climaxes that hiccup. Not terrible, but not spectacular.

In the midst of the rest is one more gem: “Anthem of My Heart.” Not surprisingly, it’s another one that turns everything up – including the voice effects and, most importantly, the tempo. The dance party comes back for one more track, and it’s great.

I’ll keep the three dance parties ‘cause they make me smile. They make me want to sing and jump around in my kitchen, and I love that. I’ll keep “The Redeemed,” ‘cause it’s one I might like to teach our congregation, and I’ll file “You Remain” and “It’s You” as potential projects. The rest probably won’t survive much longer on my hard drive.

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